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Anne Frank books vandalized: 265 books defaced, anti-Semitic motive possible?

A minimum of 265 Anne Frank books vandalized in a number of Tokyo, Japan, public libraries this 2014 has led some officials to fear that an anti-Semitic motive may be possible in this wrongful defacing. Tokyo authorities revealed this week that literal scores of Anne Frank’s perennial autobiography, “The Diary of a Young Girl,” have been damaged in recent weeks. MSN News reports this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, that an official investigation is being launched to determine why these books telling of the young Holocaust victim’s experiences are being ripped, defaced, and stolen.

A number of Anne Frank books are defaced
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The vast majority of the damages, allege public library officials and Tokyo law enforcement officers, include the ripping of pages from texts. So far, authorities from the area say that a span of at least 265 Anne Frank books vandalized — sometimes beyond repair — has been plaguing no less than 31 municipal libraries since Jan. 2014. A specific reason at this time is unknown, but anti-Semitic aims are feared as a potential motive behind the attacks.

Nazi Germany was temporary allies with Japan at the time of World War II, as history buffs no doubt recall. However, while Holocaust denial has certainly taken place in Tokyo and other regions of Japan in the past, a particular drive for causing such damage to this number of Anne Frank books remains a major mystery. Police continue to investigate the cause, but haven’t determined if the culprits are a single person, a small group, or a larger number of suspects yet.

Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Defense, said that having these Anne Frank books vandalized is nothing less than “shameful.” He added that no part of Japan would allow such crimes to occur or continue.

It appears that a majority of the vandalisms are occurring inside the libraries themselves The vandal(s) are believed to be sneaking inside silent reading rooms with a number of other books, and purposefully ripping out pages or defacing the “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” texts.

"Books related to Ms. Anne Frank are clearly targeted, and it's happening across Tokyo," said an official this Friday on the 265 damaged texts. "It's outrageous."

At least one library in Tokyo has moved all Anne Frank books and even some Holocaust texts behind the librarians’ counter in order to help prevent any attempts at vandalism, though these books are allowed to be checked out with consent. Anti-Semitic motives are suspected by several Jewish human rights organizations as well. Concludes the source:

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S.-based Jewish human rights organization, issued a statement calling the vandalism a hate campaign and urging authorities to step up efforts to find those responsible.”

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